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WHO partners Yobe State to fight malaria among children

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Mukaila Ola

The World Health Organisation (WHO and Yobe State Government collaborate to fight malaria among children in the Boko  Haram affected North Eastern state.

Both are adopting Seasonal Malaria Chemo-prevention (SMC) for children, which is be administered on children from age three months to 59 months. 

The WHO’s Emergency Manager in Northeast, Dr. Collins Owili; said in Damaturu on Wednesday at the presentation of anti-malaria medicines and training materials to Yobe State Primary Healthcare Management Board, that vulnerable children that may contact malaria and subsequently die from infections are targeted.

He said: “Children’s growth and development are mostly affected by repeated attacks of malaria and the development of anemia.”

Owili added that: The objective of giving SMC medicines was to maintain an adequate level of anti-malarial medicine concentrations in the blood. This will kill the malaria parasite during the period of high malaria transmission.” 

He however explained that intervention should be done in a combination with other malaria prevention methods, especially sleeping inside Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) every night.

He revealed that SMC would prevent approximately 75 percent of all malaria episodes, decrease child mortality of around one in 1,000. 

He explained that Chemo-prevention, reduces the incidence of severe anemias and hospital admissions associated with malaria parasitemia, and also provides personal protection against clinical malaria for a period approximately 35 days following the administration of each dose. 

Responding, the Executive Secretary, of Health Management Board in Yobe State, Dr. Muhammed Gana, commended WHO for the donation of medicines and training materials for the SMC implementation in the state. 

Gana, who was represented by Dr. Umar Chiroma, a director in the ministry of health, said that the agency’s support and intervention would go a long way in assisting the state in the health scheme. 

He said henceforth, the exercise would be officially inaugurated from July 24-28, 2019 targeting Tarmuwa and Yusufari Local Government Areas.

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